For ‘Celebration Day,’ 2008 Judo Paralympian visits club

       Internationally ranked Paralympian judo competitor Myles Porter spent time with about 30 children and staff at the El Pomar Unit of the Boys & Girls Club of the Pikes Peak Region June 23.

Paralympian Myles Porter talks with students at the El Pomar Boys & Girls Club, 805 Praderia Ave., during Global Olympic Celebration Day activities for the club June 23.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The visit was part of Global Olympic Celebration Day activities for the club at 805 Praderia Ave.
       Porter, 23, who suffers from a sight-fuzziness condition called ocular albinism, placed fifth in judo (in a category with a maximum weight of 220 pounds) at Beijing last year.
       Porter talked to the youngsters and played with them during a volleyball learning session. He said he enjoys meeting with kids because he remembers what it was like when he was young and got to see successful athletes. “It's a fun thing when you're a kid,” he said, adding that it's also an opportunity for him to suggest “motivational things” to help individual kids with their personal development.
       Judo is a good sport for him, he said, because the sport requires the competitors to always be in physical contact. “You know where your opponent is at all times,” he added.
       In training, he wrestles sighted opponents in training most of the time. His bad eyes can work in his favor, he noted: “When you get in a situation where you're clamped down, you know how to get out of it by feel.”
       Porter said he felt “disappointed” by his Paralympics finish. His two losses were to the gold and bronze medalists. He said he hopes to compete at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.
       El Pomar was one of two Colorado Springs clubs and 150 across the country, that used June 23 to “introduce thousands of children to the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect,” a press release states.

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